Dujuanta Weaver, a junior point guard for Doss, took it upon his shoulders to make sure his Dragons beat Iroquois Saturday night to clinch the No. 1 seed in the 22nd District basketball tournament later this month.
Weaver scored 20 of his career-high 34 points in the fourth quarter, cooling off a rally by Iroquois and leading the Dragons to a 79-59 home-court victory. Doss hit nine 3-point shots, with Weaver knocking down six of them. Terrell Gray hit the other three in the first quarter and finished with 18 points.
“I knew this was a district game and it meant a lot to my coach and teammates, so I had to step up,” Weaver said.
Doss, the state’s No. 13 team in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, finished regular-season play in the five-team 22nd District with a 4-0 record. Overall, the Dragons are 17-5. Doss, ranked No. 12, dropped to 17-4 and 2-2. DeSales is currently second at 2-1 in district play.
“The No. 1 seed doesn’t mean a whole lot, but it does give you an extra night off,” Doss coach K.C. Goodin said. “We’ve got a monster of a district.”
Butler (0-2) and Western (0-3) are the other district teams.
“This was a highly intense game … because everybody wanted to win really bad,” Goodin said. “Weaver struggled against DeSales two games ago, but he came back and worked hard. I love this group because they’ll put in the extra work.”
Doss opened the game red hot, hitting five threes for a 15-13 lead after one quarter. Gray hit three threes and Weaver two. Doss outscored Iroquois 21-0 on threes in the first half and led 41-29 at halftime. In the third period, Doss missed 10 of 12 free throws and Iroquois cut its deficit to 50-45 heading into the final quarter.
The Dragons led 56-50 when Weaver hit his fifth three for a 59-56 margin. From there he scored 17 more points, including his last 3-pointer that made it 65-53.
Montrell Little, a 6-foot-6 senior who leads Doss in scoring at 18.5 points per game, appeared frustrated throughout the game as he was limited to one field goal and a 6 for 11 mark at the free-throw line. Doss missed 21 of its 36 free throws.
Weaver, however, kept his cool and produced down the stretch.
“I didn’t realize I had 20 points in the fourth quarter,” he said. “Everything I shot was going in.”
“Iroquois’ game plan was to take Montrell out of the game,” Goodin said. “Weaver started every game at point guard last season and has started every game this season. If he gets frustrated, everybody else will.”
Little and 6-6 Tyler Jefferson grabbed 12 rebounds apiece over the smaller Iroquois players. Devon Johnson led Iroquois with 15 points, hitting all nine of his free throws before fouling out with 4:55 left and his team down 60-53. Derio Little, a cousin of Montrell, tallied 13 points for Iroquois, five in the first quarter.